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by Owens Pharis last modified 2007-11-16 17:05

"Teachers and Researchers, Exploring and Collaborating"


PolarTREC is an educational research experience, funded by the U.S. National Science Foundation and managed by the Arctic Research Consortium of the U.S., in which K-12 teachers participate in polar research, working closely with scientists as a pathway to improving science education.

In celebration of the International Polar Year (2007-2009), a global scientific campaign to advance our understanding of the polar regions, over forty U.S. teachers will spend two to six weeks working with a research team in the Arctic or Antarctic, exploring the environments, cultures, history, and science. PolarTREC teachers will learn about cutting-edge scientific research on topics ranging from atmospheric chemistry to seabird ecology and will share their experiences with scientists, educators, communities, and hundreds of students of all ages across the globe.

Participation in PolarTREC by underrepresented groups is an important objective of the project and one that will ensure that a diverse community takes part in the International Polar Year (IPY). Like the Benjamin Banneker Institute, PolarTREC recognizes the importance of inspiring African American youth to take interest in and explore careers in science, math, engineering and technology. We would like to formally invite African American teachers, researchers, classrooms, and communities to participate in the program and to contact us if we can assist them in doing so.

For more information about PolarTREC please visit or contact us at or at 907-474-1600. Click here to watch a short informational video about PolarTREC.


PolarTREC is currently accepting applications from teachers for the second year of teacher research experiences. Teachers are invited to submit an application to participate in field research learning experiences during the 2008 (Arctic) or 2008-2009 (Antarctic) field seasons. More information and application forms are available at:


PolarTREC is a three-year (2007-2009) program of the Arctic Research Consortium of the U.S. (ARCUS) focusing on a wide variety of research activities occurring in both the Arctic and Antarctic during and after the International Polar Year. PolarTREC pairs K-12 teachers with researchers to improve science education through authentic polar research experiences. The program integrates research and education to produce a legacy of long-term teacher-researcher collaborations, improved teacher content knowledge, and broad public interest and engagement in polar science. The International Polar Year presents an outstanding opportunity for researchers to share their passion for polar research through topics that naturally engage students and the wider public. PolarTREC is funded by the National Science Foundation.

Through PolarTREC, over 40 U.S. teachers will spend two to six weeks in the Arctic or Antarctic, working closely with researchers in the field as an integral part of the science team. PolarTREC teachers and researchers will be matched based on similar goals and interests and teachers will be trained to meet the program requirements prior to the field season. While in the field, teachers and researchers will communicate extensively with their colleagues, communities, and students of all ages across the globe, using a variety of tools including satellite phones, online journals, podcasts, and interactive "Live from IPY" events and web-based seminars.

Teachers and research projects will be selected and matched to fill the openings available. All major expenses associated with teacher participation in PolarTREC field experiences are covered by the program including transportation to and from the field site, food, lodging, and substitute teacher costs.

We expect that teachers will be notified of selection decisions in December 2007.


Teacher Application Deadline: Friday, 5 October 2007


Interested teachers, researchers, and the public are encouraged to participate in a PolarTREC informational webinar (web conference), scheduled for Thursday, 13 September 2007, at 3:00 p.m. Alaska Daylight Time (4:00 p.m. PDT; 5:00 p.m. MDT; 6:00 p.m. CDT; 7:00 p.m. EDT).

An online webinar registration form is available at:

Instructions will be sent to all registered participants. Participation in the webinar is optional and is not a prerequisite for applying to the PolarTREC program.

Webinar Registration Deadline: Tuesday, 11 September 2007

NSF ARCUS logo IPY-International Polar Year